There are so many amazing libertarian websites out there. One can chum about on liberty.me, read foreign policy thought at antiwar.com, get a general education in smackdown art at tomwoods.com, or read about austrian economics at mises.org. Then there is the doom porn.

My loose, nonscientific definition of doom porn is this: if it has an ad on it about a grampy that knows something “the grocery stores don’t want you to know about,” then it’s probably doom porn. If eminent dollar collapses are destined to happen tomorrow (wait, tomorrowwww!), then it’s doom porn. If there are sarcastic nicknames for things in the government or the culture, then it’s doom porn. If there are free reports, no time to waste, and things to buy — and too many typos — then it’s doom porn.

Jake Desyllas of the Voluntary Life defines doom porn as “prophecies of doom and collapse.” It’s always “just around the corner.” Oooooooooh….. Insert any topic here — it’s all the same: the end is near, get your guns and gold and ready-made meal packets that you bought from the ad in the magazine with the guy holding a rifle.

The media stuffs negative news down all our throats all day long. Some entrepeneurs in the libertarian market have figured out how to profit of some of the suckers.

But it goes deeper than that. Sure, I can keep my pennies in my pocket, my bitcoins in my britches. (Trust me, I do. My bitcoins are buttoned up tight.) But why read all this swill? Is calling the Pentagon a “Pentagram” going to make me more free? Is calling Obama “O’bomber” going to do anything ever? Is giving a damn about the “monetary system as we know it” going to change my financial status?

No, the doom porn sites just sell fear and confusion. They’re just schticks for profit: If you don’t buy into bitcoin, you’ll lose out, man! You’ll be stuck in the 21st century! The cops are right outside waiting to SWAT you because you take out certain books from the library and you have a zygo cactus and your digital thermostat is above 70! FEMA camps and pyramids with eyes kinda-stuff! You must be a racist because of that book you bought once that isn’t by Doris Goodwin!

After learning to identify doom porn, pruning my blogroll was never easier.

At the recent Liberty Forum in New Hampshire, Lauren Rumpler described the federal government as a “major, major, major problem.” I thought it was funny that she described it that way. She talks a mile a minute and is totally honest and such a girl (if you’ll pardon my “such a guy” persona). I laughed because I realized her argument was more convincing than any doom pornist who wants to scare people into joining the line — if it was some sort of muddy, smallpox-ridden revolutionary army. She’s being honest and inevitably positive. Her solutions to this “major, major, major problem” aren’t scaring people into buying a product; it’s opening the doors for conversation and sharing and ideas. It’s voluntary.

Liberty should come with a laugh, not a sneer.

I don’t value the time, nor do I have the time, to read posts that promote fear and confusion — even if they promote liberty at the same time.

Rothbard wrote on cults, before ringing up Ayn Rand: “The goals of the cult leadership are money and power. Power is achieved over the minds of the disciples through inducing them to accept without question the guru and his creed.” If a site is trying to draw you in, consider opting out before you buy into the fear and confusion.

Since quitting many of these sites, I’ve found so much more free time in my life to do things that are positive and constructive. And I’ve saved a few bucks, too.